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On Thursday, February 8th, the (19-4) Duke Blue Devils will be on the road to take on the (17-7) North Carolina Tar Heels.Overview:
“The Crowd” projects a final score of Duke 76.6 – North Carolina 75.3 with an over/under of 151.9.
Statistics (2017-18 season):
Point differential: Duke +17.2 PPG > North Carolina +10.0
Points per game: Duke 89.6 PPG > North Carolina 82.8 PPG
Points allowed per game: Duke 72.4 PPG > North Carolina 72.8 PPG
Field Goal Percentage Offense: Duke 50.7% > North Carolina 46.4%
Field Goal Percentage Defense: Duke 41.0% > North Carolina 41.6%
Three Point Percentage: Duke 38.9% > North Carolina 37.2%
Turnovers per game: Duke 12.5 > North Carolina 12.8
Rebounds per game: North Carolina 43.4 > Duke 42.7
Assists per game: Duke 18.5 > North Carolina 18.0
Duke is (7-3) in their last ten games and (4-1) against ranked opponents this season. Duke’s starting five all average double-digit points but nobody else on their roster averages five points per game. Duke is leading the nation in scoring (89.6 PPG) and ranks top ten in scoring efficiency (50.7%). Marvin Bagley III (21.4 PPG and 11.2 RPG) is having a monster season for the Blue Devils shooting nearly 60% from the field. Grayson Allen’s decision to return to Duke has been huge as he is one of the only upper classmen who gets consistent playing time.
North Carolina is (5-5) in their last ten games and (2-4) against ranked opponents. The Tar Heels are the best rebounding team in the country (43.4). Luke Maye (18.3 PPG and 10.3 RPG) has been great for the Tar Heels shooting 51.6% from the field and 48.7% from three. Joel Berry (17.3 PPG) has been a consistent scorer for North Carolina but is shooting a dreadful 38.9% from the field.
North Carolina’s usual rebounding advantage is mitigated by a Duke team that crashes the glass just as well. Duke is the more efficient from the field and frankly has more offensive firepower. North Carolina hasn’t played well as of late and I don’t see how they stop Bagley III on the inside. Duke is the better basketball team on both sides of the ball and should win this one on the road.
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